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Hello. This is a blog about trade shows. Exciting stuff… Actually, it’s more specifically a blog about trade show magicians, whether you should hire them for your convention (spoiler: yes), and what exactly they do. 

I’m writing this because I’ve just come back from a convention, namely ICE at London’s Excel Centre. I was hired by tech startup Cybertonica to attract customers to their stand using my unique blend of magic tricks and blindingly radiant charisma. Here’s me doing just that:

Trade show magician London drawing a crowd

How it works

Here’s what happens: I’m next to your stand, doing something flashy and impossible. Like, say, making a business card levitate, spin in midair for a few seconds, then land back in my hand. That catches the eye of someone walking past. They stop, ask to see it again, and take out their phone to record it. More people start to gather. Soon there is a crowd around the stand, a company-branded playing card has appeared in someone’s wallet, and people are losing their minds. They start sharing their videos of what happened on social media and tagging your company in them. 

Importantly, your sales message is carefully shoehorned integrated into the tricks, so I then seamlessly transition from doing the magic to explaining what your company actually does. I hand the interested parties over to your sales team. Everyone else lingers around, hoping to see more – they may not all be qualified leads but even the ones who aren’t certainly make your stand feel like the place to be. After a few minutes, the whole process starts again.

“If it wasn’t for Pete we certainly wouldn’t have generated the amount of leads we did. His illusions were a real talking point and certainly drew a crowd to our stand! Hiring a magician was definitely a worthwhile investment and I would definitely recommend Pete to others in the future”

Joanna Betés, Marketing Manager, EMEA. AtTask Inc 

Why choose a magician

There are lots of ways you can spend money on your stand. You could buy ten thousand branded pens and just give them away, never to be looked at again. Alternatively, you could even ignore the fact that it’s 2020 and hire a scantily-clad teenager to be leered at all day. The reason a trade show magician is a better option (well, one of the reasons) is that it’s interactive. It is as much about the spectator as it is the performer. You are giving people entertainment, and in return, they are giving you their time and attention. A dialogue begins.

This is not in any way the same as having a bowl of sweets on the counter for people to grab without stopping. The tricks are carefully chosen to reflect a brand image and touch on the sales message you have created, and lead naturally into a conversation with the sales team. This conversation results in a sale.

It’s also a great way to create content for your social media. You can advertise your presence at the convention by tweeting videos of impossible things happening at your stand. Unlike other promotional videos, these will actually get shared, because the magic is inherently entertaining, and gives them a reason to engage.

“It was a pleasure for all of us at Cybertonica to work with you during the ICE, thank you for representing us at the show and attracting the visitors to our stand with your great tricks. We’ll sure be in touch for future collaboration opportunities”

Melike Belli, Cybertonica

How to decide who to go with

Your trade show magician should be someone able to understand what you are doing and who you are targeting. If asked about the product, your magician should be able to give an elevator pitch, passing it over to the sales team once interest is established. Meet them first, for a coffee and a chat, to see if they can not only amaze you and your staff, but impress you with their conversational skill. If they can sell themselves to you, it’ll work on your clients too. They need intelligence and good judgement – they are representing you, after all. 

For that reason, you also want someone that looks right for you. Personally, I don’t go for an overly traditional look (grey suit and tie, or, god forbid, a tuxedo) because it doesn’t suit me any more than it suits the trade show environment. Nor will I wear a cheap costume to fit in with a theme. I find that detracts value rather than adding it.

The tricks I perform are modern, using mobile phones and social media as much as they do cards and coins, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to dress as a “traditional” magician. My clothes are modern and stylish (I think so at least, and so does my mum), and deliberately conspicuous, but not garish, so I attract attention but hopefully for the right reasons. As a result, I get tend to get hired by startups, tech companies, new media, and in fact anyone with a fresher, more modern outlook and image to maintain. 


Perhaps the best way to tell if a trade show magician will do a good job is to read their testimonials – if they have any. They should do. Perhaps they have a blog post with a couple of embedded testimonials, and a picture of them clearly drawing a crowd. Perhaps they are called Pete. I’d personally go with someone like that… Ideally someone recommended by a film star

Click HERE to send me an enquiry. I’ll get back to you with a quote and we’ll take it from there…

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